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Five Strategies to Get Suppliers to Share Carbon Performance Information

Organizations make smoother progress when they provide partners with reporting guidance and set measurable plans.

Person working on a laptop in a warehouse

You’re on top of Scope 1 emissions and you’re tackling Scope 2, but when it comes to Scope 3, you’ve got some work to do. These are trickier to identify, calculate and wrangle because Scope 3 emissions are generated from off-site activities such as business travel and commuting, purchased goods and services, supply-chain distribution and landfill-bound waste. However, supply chain emissions have increased 84% between 1995 and 2015 according to Environmental Research Letters and represent a significant opportunity for your organization to make a meaningful impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

Closer relationships with your global supply network are needed to get the information and action your sustainability goals require. Your organization will make smoother progress when you help partners understand your Scope 3 goals, provide reporting guidance and set measurable plans. 

Let’s explore how to work with your global supply network to collect accurate Scope 3 data and communicate their data consistently.

A step-by-step approach to monitoring carbon performance

  1. Start strategically – Instead of rolling out a comprehensive reporting strategy across your entire global supply chain, prioritize those suppliers who can help you make the greatest reductions in Scope 3 emissions. Within those partners, consider starting with the ones with whom you have the most transparent and trustworthy relationships.  
  2. Make reporting easy – Depending on the size of your global supply chain, you may be dealing with hundreds of vendors. Choose one platform or tool for all your suppliers and ask them to self-report data on a consistent schedule. 
  3. Review supplier content – Even if you have a common platform for use by all suppliers, you’ll still need to allocate time to carefully check their submissions to ensure consistent information useful in making total calculations. 
  4. Circle back to suppliers – After reviewing data, make time to connect with your suppliers to highlight areas of concern and where improvements can be made to decrease Scope 3 emissions. After all, that benefits the supplier’s carbon footprint, too.
  5. Create a virtuous cycle – Encourage your suppliers to remain engaged with emissions-improvement efforts and maintain consistent reporting via your platform of choice. Show them how their efforts play a role in achieving your overall sustainability goals and make a true difference.

Advice, resources to help with Scope 3 reporting

Combating climate change requires effort from everyone. To help organizations advance their sustainability goals, UL has developed the award-winning, easy-to-implement 360 Sustainability Essentials and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) software. Our tools, combined with expertise from seasoned sustainability experts, can help you delve into Scope 3 emissions reporting throughout your entire supply chain.

Discover the convenience of carbon reporting with UL’s Scope 3 Carbon Advisory and Reporting Service.

How to Identify Scope 3 Carbon Hotspots

Three strategies to identify, calculate and minimize hidden greenhouse gasses across your enterprise.

Five Considerations for Scope 3 Benchmarks

Strike a balance between consistent practices and real-world flexibility when working with your supply chain on Scope 3 emissions reporting.


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